You probably know who Jake Paul is at this point, but did you know he is the co-founder of a rolling fund that invests in startups? Maybe you did, maybe you don’t care.
I’m going to look at Jake’s brands to see if he’s a smart businessman or another internet clown.
Don’t judge a book: Jake Paul’s current businesses 💷
A quick rundown on Jake’s career: he became famous with his brother through the social media app Vine, he then went to YouTube where he grew further, & has now pivoted to focus on a career in boxing.
I’ll go further into the businesses that he started & retreated from later, but his current projects are:
- Boxing: The perfect sport for hated celebrities. People will literally pay to watch you potentially lose.
- Anti-Fund: His rolling investment fund with Geoffery Woo.
- Gotcha: A clothing brand.
- Fanjoy: A company that supplies branded clothing for influencers. Jake was is a co-owner with equity in the brand.
- Boxing Bullies: His nonprofit foundation promoting boxing to the youth.
- Music: Less said about this the better…
- & probably many more behind the scenes (one example being his investment in digital goods platform Genies).
Jake’s current list isn’t too shabby at all…
His boxing career has already done incredibly thanks to Jake’s notoriety, with his last fight racking up over $65m in PPV buys. He’s also been using his platform to promote equal pay for fighters, including paying his sparing partners more than they would for their own fights.
His Gotcha brand was created as a joke after stealing Floyd Mayweather’s hat where he famously screamed “Got your hat” whilst being beaten up by Floyd & his crew. Whilst it initially was just a hat (clever), Jake seems to have expanded into other clothing, too.
Jake’s other businesses (aside from music) are long plays. His Anti-Fund could make a huge amount, & if Fanjoy is sold it could result in Jake making multi hundred millions.
Jake the bumbling business bozo 🔪
Okay, here’s the huge part… Jake’s failed brands & businesses:
- RNBO: His streetwear brand that was received awfully.
- Team 10 & its related businesses: His failed influencer incubator program. He probably still makes money from this through ex-members contracts.
- Edfluence, Team 1000 & Financial Freedom Movement: Three different online course platforms that Jake Paul has attempted to launch with little success.
- His self-branded merchandise: This wasn’t a failure, but was heavily criticised for exploiting children to excessive advertising.
- Triller: No word on if he’s still a partner at the TikTok copycat app Triller, but he had a big public falling out with the platform & left them in the dust for Showtime.
- Crypto projects: No word if Jake is in the teams behind some of these cryptocurrencies he’s been promoting (such as Yummy), but it’s not good to be affiliated with rug pulls like these.
- His wannabe GaryVee books & brand.
- YouTube brand deals: Jake (knowing he has a young audience) once promoted a gambling website.
- & more probably burned in the background.
The two good ideas with poor execution were his “influencer incubator” Team 10 & his merchandise.
Team 10 allowed upcoming social media talent to sign a contract with Jake to live at his property & become part of the cast featured in his daily videos, which would then skyrocket their fame. This company would also arrange brand deals & help with their creative output. GaryVee actually invested in this.
The reason why this didn’t work was because they were all young & irresponsible, & were filming themselves being… young & irresponsible. Such examples of stupidity included setting fire to mattresses in their garden, adding their home address as a GoogleMyBusiness location which turned their street into chaos, & promoting sexually explicit content to children.
Jake tried to bring in new team members to control the business, but they were also inexperienced. As a result, those in Team 10 publicly exposed its failures, & it eventually fell apart as each influencer began feuding with one another.
This business has been copied a lot since, & whilst other incubator programs existed before it ,Team 10 was unique in its notoriety & stupidity.
His other less innovative idea was his merchandise, which of course ties into his existing company Fanjoy. Jake became notorious for excessively advertising his merchandise, often encouraging his young fan base to essentially beg their parents for his products.
Similarly, his partnership with Triller seemed like an okay business decision at the time, as TikTok looked as if it would disappear following talks of being banned in the US. TikTok never left, so Triller never took its place. Instead it diversified its offerings including hosting Jake’s last (I’m writing this before his Tyron Woodley fight) boxing matches. Jake felt disappointed in the production, publicly cutting ties in an impressively unprofessional mannerism.
Now we move onto his dumb ideas. These being not necessarily evil, but dumb.
Firstly, let’s discuss his streetwear brand, RNBO. This was created prior to his first boxing match, but flopped almost immediately. Cheap quality clothing, designs which were literally just stock free vectors, designs stolen from other artists, & even the logo itself was just “RNBO” typed in a free font with no personalisation. 3 years on, & Jake doesn’t even own the RNBO shop domain anymore. Tragically, Jake still has RNBO tattooed to his body.
The other example of Jake being overly inspired someone else’s brand was his book – “Gotta Want It” – where he tried to brand himself as a young business prodigy. Jake very clearly wanted to be a young GaryVee, but his YouTube cartoonish persona unfortunately made the book a laughing stock.
Finally, we get to the more malicious businesses. Whether Jake understood these ideas to be dangerous is up for debate, but nonetheless as a successful public figure he has a responsibility to not release one of these ideas… let alone multiple versions of them.
The least corrupt of these being his online course businesses. Jake has launched & abandoned 3 so far; Edfluence, Team 1000 & Financial Freedom Movement. All of which were marketed toward young (as in children) wannabe entrepreneurs to teach them how to build a personal brand online & advertise effectively. Whilst this content definitely would make sense from Jake Paul following his success on social media, all of these were disasters.
General criticism included extremely generic advice that’s available online for free, lack of ongoing support for those who paid, & falsely promising financial results to children. You’d think after the first time he’d learn, but he has since made the same mistake twice.
If Jake partnered with a video editing software company, a camera & mic company, & a stock music library platform he probably could have created a “get started on YouTube” package for a competitive price. However, he didn’t, & instead gave generic advice & accepted a quick payday.
The most disgusting & potentially illegal items he’s promoted includes cryptocurrency & a gambling website. Both of these issues I have the same criticism for: Jake’s clearly selling a get rich quick scheme to children. It’s not just the one time they purchase into these products, it’s that he’s introducing them to the world of gambling potentially resulting in consequences that his audience don’t quite understand.
Conclusion: The future will tell 🔮
Jake’s past mistakes are… Well, quite frankly shocking, & he’s very fortunate to still have a career. If he continues to keep his head down & focus on his boxing things could turn out very well.
Jake Paul is clearly a talented marketer, & he would be wise to have people advise him on bad business ideas & keep him away from steering the ship.